Why the Dow Opened Lower Today

Bad news on the employment front sent stocks falling early Thursday. Claims for unemployment benefits rose to 399,000, their highest level in six weeks, and investors took the news as a sign that the economic recovery in the U.S. may not be as firmly in place as they had thought. Mostly flat retail sales in December also took their toll. Just after 11 a.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) were down 40 points to 12,409, while the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) fell 3 points to 1,289.

Looking at Dow stocks, Chevron (NYSE: CVX  ) was among the biggest losers, down about 2.3%. The energy giant announced that its fourth-quarter profit would fall sharply from previous-quarter levels, citing its refining and marketing business as the primary factor for the shortfall, saying that the business would only post roughly break-even results. Its exploration and production profits should come in close to third-quarter results. ExxonMobil also fell on the news.

IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) also gave up ground, falling just less than 2%. With IT consultant Infosys (Nasdaq: INFY  ) announcing a lower forecast for its fiscal 2012 because of the slowdown in Europe, investors are concerned that IBM's huge presence in the enterprise IT business could suffer similar problems.

On a down day for the Dow, you may want to expand your horizons to find the best stocks out there. Check out The Motley Fool's latest special report to discover our top stock pick for 2012. It's free, but it won't be available for long, so get your copy now.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter here. The Motley Fool owns shares of International Business Machines. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Chevron. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (10)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1757102, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 11/22/2014 9:29:22 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you

Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early-in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!


Advertisement